I love Zumba Class. I especially love Zumba Gold, which is geared toward the “Older Adult” crowd, and it’s usually the only class I can make with my schedule. Sure, I love the feeling I get from dancing, and I love the endorphins of exercise and all the rest, but mostly? Mostly, I love watching how different people are.
The thing about Zumba is that you are basically required to shimmy, shake your hips, and back that thang up. And so you get this glimpse into people’s personalities. I swear, whoever is dancing next to me in class must laugh the entire time whenever they see me try to shimmy, because I can not do it. Also, I am totally unable to make a sexy face when the instructor tell you to “strut.” I just look constipated.
So, in the Zumba Gold class, there are people all the way from age 20-something to probably 70-something and maybe even 80-something. And there are people at the Y from all walks of life-you can almost see it in their eyes. You’ll see one lady wearing this crazy-huge Zumba pants with straps hanging all over them, and another lady just basically wearing her normal, everyday clothes. I’ve seen a lady Zumba in leather pants, and another woman wear what looks to be a homemade Halloween Costume, I’m not actually sure.
Anyway, the instructor is amazeballs and man, can she MOVE. Her hips move in ways that I do not even understand. Lately she’s been doing this choreo that mimics one of those Hawaiian bobble-head dancers you’d put on the dashboard of your car. By the time we’re done with that song, I know that 1) my hips don’t work and 2)neither does my bladder. Belly Dancers must have some strong kegel action, yo.
Looking in the mirror is the best because I can look anywhere else but at myself. I hate watching myself dance. And, I swear to you, when I watch the others, I don’t judge them at all. Well, there is one exception to the judging. I only judge the lady that makes out with herself in the mirror. I need her to STAND BACK.
Anyway, I love watching everybody try to keep up, and none of us can quite do it like the instructor, so we all pretty much look hilarious and like we are having the best time of our life. Smiles and laughter and cheers and hip shaking. The best part of this is that we have all different backgrounds. In our neon, too-tight workout shorts, nobody knows how rich we are, or what we do for a living, or if we are married or even how many kids we have. We aren’t democrats or republicans, we aren’t for “the wall” or against. Nobody pays attention
And so, some of us (me) act like every dance is our audition for “So You Think You Can Dance” and some of us just literally rock back and forth on our feet because the moves just don’t seem to do it for us, and others go left when you’re supposed to go right. But, we all still laugh and sway and shimmy and yell, “WOOHOO” when the instructor demands it. There is a guy who makes moves so big that he starts in the back row and ends up in the front and on the opposite side because he is so into it.
I love all the people at Zumba, you guys. I smile and dance and move and we are TOGETHER.
Until they talk.
And then, the magic is over.
Like today, when I heard someone behind me whisper, during the cool belly-dancing song, “What kind of dance is this? Isn’t it, like, a terrorist dance? I look like such a r*t#rd right now.”
I seriously didn’t know what to do. I mean, we all know what we are supposed to do when someone uses derogatory terms (especially a string of them!) but I’m in the middle of doing a dance where I can barely breathe, and OMG I come here to get AWAY from this!
I tried to pretend like it didn’t happen. But, now, of course, I hate myself because I should’ve stopped and said, “Look, we just don’t use those words anymore. And if you do, don’t use them to me.”
Sigh. My love/hate relationship continues on. What do you do in these situations? Would you have stopped and told the lady off? Any similar stories?